|An artists' impression of the new park|
The council is set to appoint Sport and Leisure Group Ltd to construct 11 astroturf pitches and one basketball zone at Hammersmith Park.
The new, £2.1 million site will replace the park's existing all-weather pitch which has fallen into a state of disrepair with the fabric turf falling out and the fences in need of replacement. The facility is the only available community pitch in the Shepherds Bush and White City area and the council is responding to residents who have asked for improvements to be made.
If the Council's Cabinet agrees to appoint Sport and Leisure Group Ltd (trading as PlayFootball.net) at Cabinet on July 18, a planning application could be submitted late summer with the new pitches open to the public in Spring 2012.
The new facility will include eight five-a-side pitches and three seven-a-side pitches to ensure a variety of groups can be catered for. In addition to the free basketball area, registered local residents will also be given substantial free use of one-five-a side pitch and one seven a side pitch.
A pavilion, café and car park will also be built which suitably fits into the surroundings of the park.
Cllr Greg Smith, Cabinet Member for Residents' Services, said:
"This is a absolutely fantastic deal for Shepherds Bush and White City residents. The council has managed to secure £2 million to be spent in Hammersmith Park at zero cost to the taxpayer in return for a state-of-the-art soccer centre that local people will be able to use for free. Residents have been asking us to upgrade the obsolete all-weather pitch for several years and we are sure that they will be delighted with the new complex.As part of the deal, the council will be removing the poorly-used bowling green at Hammersmith Park which is used by the visually impaired bowlers of the Metro Blind Sport club. These bowlers have been transferred to Ravenscourt Park - a move which they have embraced.
"Hammersmith & Fulham is one of the sportiest boroughs in London and we are delighted that Hammersmith Park will soon have first class sports pitches."
Bill Reynolds of Metro Blind Sport said:
"We are all delighted with the move. We were based at Hammersmith Park for about eight years and were the only people using the green. The facilities at Ravenscourt Park are far better and everyone there is very friendly and welcoming."Hammersmith Park, a stones throw away from Queens Park Rangers Football Club, has undergone a radical transformation recently. The park's historic Japanese Garden has been refurbished with new Japanese-themed natural and adventurous play installed to provide a continuous play trail across the whole site.
A climbing forest has also been created and three large spectacular play mountains also have been built. The council has built a hedge maze that is proving to be hugely popular with children. The maze was the number one suggestion when the council asked youngsters what they would like to see in the park.
I have to say after what seems like an eternity of reporting bad news stories about our community this is a welcome change - well done Council and well done everyone else involved in bringing it about. Every time I pass through that park there seems to be groups of young lads training with a ball - fantastic that they'll have somewhere top class to hone their skills properly.